Hard to believe 2021 has come to a close, and yet here we are. I’ve been blogging here for twelve years apparently! Starting in 2022 most of my non-paid writing will be moving to my newsletter, so please subscribe to that if you want to keep up with my work. On here I’ll publish my annual Favorite Fifteen Films list and my end of the year wrap-up, and then everything going forward will move to the newsletter.
In terms of writing in December for my column I interviewed Mary Lambert about A Castle For Christmas, Valerie Weiss about Mixtape, Lauren Hadaway about The Novice, Jules Williamson about Off The Rails, and Hannah Marks about Mark, Mary, + Some Other People. For The Playlist I review Nightmare Alley, Harlem S1, and The Unforgivable; I also wrote about Venom: Let There Be Carnage as a
guilty pleasure. For the Classic Film Collective I recommended Bell, Book and Candle, and wrote a poem about It’s A Wonderful Life. For RogerEbert.com I interviewed Uzo Aduba about her role in National Champions, shared my Top Ten list, and wrote about Tessa Thompson’s exquisite performance in Passing. I hopped on the Matineecast to talk about The Power of the Dog, Battleship Pretension to talk about Christmas Noir, and NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour to talk about Nightmare Alley. For Crooked Marquee I reviewed Red Rocket and The Lost Daughter. And lastly, I made my Polygon debut discussing under seen X-Mas movies and why so many romances are set on New Year’s Eve.
As always, you can see everything I watched in December after the cut.
Charlotte Dalrymple: Dr. Granville, I can assure you that women enjoy physical pleasure just as much as men, even if it can be hard to come by.
Dr. Mortimer Granville: Physical pleasure has nothing to do with it. It is strictly a medical treatment that stimulates the nervous system.
Charlotte Dalrymple: Indeed it does, doesn’t it. Bargain it to guinea. But my point is, according to your diagnosis, hysteria seems to cover everything, from insomnia to toothache.
Dr. Mortimer Granville: It’s not my…
Charlotte Dalrymple: It’s nothing more than a catch-all for dissatisfied women. Women, forced to spend their lives on domestic chores and their prudish and selfish husbands who are unwilling or unable to make love to them properly, or often enough.
Dr. Mortimer Granville: You seem to have strong opinions on husbands for a woman who doesn’t have one.
Charlotte Dalrymple: Look, if you don’t believe me, ask your patients.
Dr. Mortimer Granville: Faintly ironic, don’t you think. Use my engagement party as an opportunity to deliver your opinion these matters?
Charlotte Dalrymple: Yes, yes. And I apologize for that, but you must admit, you men really did get the best side of the bargain.
Dr. Mortimer Granville: Bargain?
Charlotte Dalrymple: For us, it’s mindless housework and doting on some mindless halfwit–
Dr. Mortimer Granville: You can make some mindless halfwit very happy.
Charlotte Dalrymple: It is simply not enough for me, or for most women. Would it be enough for you?
Dr. Mortimer Granville: Oh, I’m not most women. Wouldn’t you be lonely?
Charlotte Dalrymple: I will take a partner. An equal. But, not for me, a life of darning socks, doing chores until my mental faculties become Sunday pudding.
Harold Crick: [runs to Ana the baker with a box of 10 paper bags in it] I’m glad I caught you. I wanted to give you these.
Ana Pascal: Wait, you can give presents, but not receive them? That sounds awfully inconsistent, Mr. Crick.
Harold Crick: Yes, but…
Ana Pascal: Wait, I know, I’ll purchase them! Yeah, I’ll purchase them.
[reaches into her bag to grab her wallet]
Harold Crick: No, no, no, no.
Ana Pascal: [with wallet in hand, stops to actually look at the box] What are they?
Harold Crick: [quietly] Flours.
Ana Pascal: What?
Harold Crick: I brought you flours.
Ana Pascal: [see the sweetness of the gesture, then realizing he’s carried 10 bags of flours] Wait, you carried them all the way here?
Harold Crick: Miss Pascal, I’ve been odd. I know I’ve been odd, and I know that there are many forces at work telling me to bring these down here to you, but I brought these for you because… I want you.
Ana Pascal: [a bit taken aback, and ready to be really offended] Excuse me?
Harold Crick: I want you.
Ana Pascal: You want me?
Harold Crick: In no uncertain terms.
Ana Pascal: [realizing that he’s really not being a creep and just a guy who’s not used to saying what he feels] But isn’t there some… I don’t rule about fraternization…
Harold Crick: Auditor / Auditee protocols, yes, but I don’t care.
Ana Pascal: Why not?
Harold Crick: Because I want you.
Ana Pascal: [contemplates him for a second, and looks back at the box] Can you carry those a little bit further?
Harold Crick: Okay.